T Nation

YOUR Mental Hang-Ups When it Comes to Lifting?

Yes serious thread.

What are some of the mental hiccups or disabilities that you find yourselves constantly having to work around or deal with? It could be anything from extreme laziness to anxiety, depression, OCD, etc.

I know I suffer from OCD pretty bad, so I’m always fighting over-analysis paralysis and things of that nature, but I’m like that over several things, not just when it comes to sports and lifting.

I try to get around it by just tell my mind to “STFU” and just go back to basics.

I know some of the users on here who don’t suffer from any mental disabilities probably won’t understand, but for some it’s just that much more difficult to succeed and work around them to get the job DONE.

I think this thread will provide some pretty insightful tips for those that have little “ticks” when it comes to exercise or even life in general.

Good post.

For me, it’s a mental battle more than anything. My age, combined with some nagging injuries in my elbow and shoulder fuck with my head the most.

I also travel frequently for work, have 2 children, and run a household so I have to book my gym time in my Outlook calendar. It works…

I think the best part about self improvement is juggling your schedule to make time for what you crave.

Weightlifting, food, and sex fall into that category - but not necessarily in that order.

Mine is mental as well. Physically I’m good although I’ve had more issues with my body before this latest meet than any previous.

Like Droogan Leader, I over analyse and become paralysed at times. This applies in particular when preparing for a competition. I over think my preparation. This last cycle was especially spastic in deciding the best way to ramp up. Finally someone just had to tell me to back away from the spreadsheets, get under the bar and worry less about it. I can do everything but worry less about it.

At a week out from nationals, now is when I wake up at night wondering why I think I can possibly make the third attempt I have planned.

Plus I have a job, two kids, a house and everything that goes with that. I have lists every where.

[quote]Polish Rifle wrote:
Good post.

For me, it’s a mental battle more than anything. My age, combined with some nagging injuries in my elbow and shoulder fuck with my head the most.

I also travel frequently for work, have 2 children, and run a household so I have to book my gym time in my Outlook calendar. It works…

I think the best part about self improvement is juggling your schedule to make time for what you crave.

Weightlifting, food, and sex fall into that category - but not necessarily in that order.
[/quote]

It sounds like you have a good system that works for you (in regards to time management, I can’t imagine have all those external obligations as well!)

And I think you made a good point, it’s these “systems” that allow you to workaround mental blocks/disability. Not so much as a crutch, but but knowing yourself and how yourself can actually be an impedance towards whatever you’re trying to accomplish (be it the weight room, or life)

I too found that my little iCal program has helped me physically put things that I need to do in-front of me. However, suffering from OCD pretty bad, compulsive list making can be an issue. But having the tools DOES help me organize a little better.

Ironically, finding T-Nation has made me less motivated to lift sometimes. I had absolutely no direction or conception of my own capabilities before I found this site and others it led to, but still for the last several years what has made me different from most of my friends and family is that I have been in excellent shape, and this was my motivation. I very much like being an outsider.

Now I know there are all these people who think somewhat similarly to the way I do and it has taken away some of my view of my own superiority.

The good thing I suppose is that I have to confront how immature and stupid that motivation is, and plug away even when I don’t feel like it simply to develop good character.

I feel really stupid for saying all this, because again, I know how immature and petty it is. Not that health is petty, but my thinking is.

p.s. I’m also an ENORMOUS perfectionist and really have to get over the attitude “if you can’t do it perfectly don’t even try.” Some of my “suck it up and just do some pushups” days have turned into some of my best workouts. Good lesson there too.

anxiety for me :frowning: in the past year or so its reared it ugly head and made my life quite difficult, even the simple things like going to buy food from the store, but the worst thing is it happens so randomly and could be in any situation.

been working on different methods to help combat it and i guess from my current progression through it that im just going to have to take it one step at a time.

I have a hair trigger temper and on top of that PTSD which also causes me to become very paranoid at times.

I have to catch myself and bite my tongue a lot just to try and calm down. Other than that… OCD like I’m guessing a lot of people on here have.

ODD

oppositional defiance disorder

i push peoples buttons, see what i can get away with, with authority figures. teachers, bosses, police, whatever.

a small thing recently was just dresscode. youre supposed to wear either black or white shoes, but my boots were killing me so i wore my red chucks, the boss told me not to so i wore them again, then he said “hey whatd i tell ya about those shoes” so i stopped.

i also randomly leave out words when i type or speak. idk why, its a new thing that just started happening. like my verbal skills just really went down the drain lately and i cant figure out why.

there was also this thing on TV before and they show a picture and then show the picture again with something missing, it was a plane and the next one was the plane with the engine turbine missing and i didnt even notice. and they said that old people with brain dementia dont notice it so i think that when im older im going to have Alzheimers. im also really bad with things that require a lot of steps and im really like absent minded. like i can remember random ass things but if its some kind of task related thing i always forget.

paranoid about damaging my joints

I used to be get pretty paranoid and felt overwhelmed with the sensation that people around me were plotting my destruction. lol. At least that’s how I look at it now; I was completely anxious and it really hindered my relationships throughout high school and my “early” adulthood.

I had always played sports and those were the only friendships that lasted, when they were based on a common theme. Then I stopped playing sports and had nothing. Even in the military I felt like I couldn’t connect with my peers on an intimate level. I always had plenty of drinking buddies and I always had girls in my life but never anything concrete. (mind you this is all in retrospect as I see it now)

All this until I was about 22-23 when I was introduced to actual lifting. It took me until I was about 24 to get serious and focused and capable, but once I did, most of the “hang ups” and insecurities seemed to fade away as I focused on my physical and intellectual development.

If anything, lifting helped level me out.

I’m a reformed workaholic, and my main mental hangup is stress. When it gets too bad (such as at the moment), I go into hiding and neglect my social contacts. Also, it becomes harder to keep up my training and nutrition (if not eating totally regularly, I loose weight pretty quickly). May sound small, but is an issue, as it may affect relationships and is self-perpetuating (feeling stressed about stress). The older I get, the harder it is to recover.

What helps me - and this is what I’m doing now - is to compartmentalise (do things sequentially and ignore the background noise), and set dates and times to deal with them. Also, I’m obsessive about sleep hygiene. It sounds like a no brainer here on T-Nation - but is not so easy to avoid when living in the UK and being in job that requires heavy networking - I stay away from alcohol, as even the smallest amounts fuck with my sleep big time.

This keeps me going for the time being, as I work through this tense work period (which is fortunately finite) - but I’m highly strung, and it takes a lot of work not to be overwhelmed by it.

Makkun

Good stuff so far, kid of makes me feel not so fucked up.

I don’t really believe in most mental disorders, but I do think I suffer a bit from ADD. I find it hard to focus and concentrate when I really need to. I hate that. Caffiene helps sometimes but for the most part it is difficult for me to bite down and really focus when I need to.

I used to get SEVERE panic attacks, I would think I was having a heart attack and I would just flip out. It really peaked when I was a 17-18, but now not so much.

I am very angry all the time. I absolutely hate people on principle. I have always felt this way and because of it I have had very few friends over my lifetime. I don’t have any friends now, not even people I casually know. I hate feeling this way, I have talked to counselors in the past but I can’t find a way to shake it. People just fucking suck.

This leads into paranoia, I always feel like people are staring at me, judging me, and wanting to harm me. I was at my school’s study lounge yesterday and there was a group of guys sitting over a few tables down. They were laughing and carrying on like young college frat boys do, I naturally thought they were all talking shit about me. I kept looking over to see if they were looking at me, I probably looked like an asshole constantly staring at them with a scowl on my face.

I hate feeling this way, but I can’t get over it.

[quote]LiveFromThe781 wrote:
ODD

oppositional defiance disorder

.[/quote]

No you don’t. (ha! Just kidding.)

I am very similar.

It works if you use it though. When someone issues a challenge or says that I can’t do something, I will go to the ends of the earth to prove them wrong. It can be harmfull though when what you are trying to prove or accomplish is contrary to solid fact or social structure.

OCD.

God it can be annoying at times.

[quote]SkyzykS wrote:
LiveFromThe781 wrote:
ODD

oppositional defiance disorder

.

No you don’t. (ha! Just kidding.)

I am very similar.

It works if you use it though. When someone issues a challenge or says that I can’t do something, I will go to the ends of the earth to prove them wrong. It can be harmfull though when what you are trying to prove or accomplish is contrary to solid fact or social structure.

[/quote]

it doesnt work that way though, if someone says i cant do something and its something i dont want to do, i just wont do it. if its something i am going to do, i dont give a shit what they say. it takes a high caliber and very esteemed person for to give a shit about what theyre saying.

Mine is I had an accident which, in the aftermath, the doctors kept saying I should be dead. Next line usually was, hopefully in time you can feed yourself, hold a book, type, etc. again. I have screwed up nerves/neck/arms/hands. Lifting, in the doctors and physical therapists minds, was not a possibility.

Four years to be able to lift pink weights again.

Another six more to return to weight resembling my pre-accident lift. Too much in the gym meant numb/painful/useless hands and migraine headaches.

Now when I am in the gym I think - how far can I push this before I jeopardize my ability to take care of my daughter and work? So for me its not just about the new PR, or about a little pain, its about being able to fulfill my responsibilities to myself and others. Yet I still push for progress every time in the gym. Sometimes there is a very real price to pay.

Its a day to day thing.

[quote]Makavali wrote:
OCD.

God it can be annoying at times.[/quote]

ooooh

i see what you did there

[quote]Polish Rifle wrote:
Good post.

For me, it’s a mental battle more than anything. My age, combined with some nagging injuries in my elbow and shoulder fuck with my head the most.

[/quote]

Same here (knees, elbows, low-back, shoulder). I keep fighting these fears, but whenever I think I’m doing well, I re-injure myself. Frustrating almost to the point of tears sometimes. But I keep plugging away. I manage to keep fear behind me, but only a few steps away… and its shadow is long.

Even big Joel Stubbs battles his fear of big weights since his horrific leg injuries many years ago.

I walk in and the yawns come in full force, I get tired and start thinking about life. It really gets in the way and gets down on my energy

[quote]Tex Ag wrote:
Mine is I had an accident which, in the aftermath, the doctors kept saying I should be dead. Next line usually was, hopefully in time you can feed yourself, hold a book, type, etc. again. I have screwed up nerves/neck/arms/hands. Lifting, in the doctors and physical therapists minds, was not a possibility.

Four years to be able to lift pink weights again.

Another six more to return to weight resembling my pre-accident lift. Too much in the gym meant numb/painful/useless hands and migraine headaches.

Now when I am in the gym I think - how far can I push this before I jeopardize my ability to take care of my daughter and work? So for me its not just about the new PR, or about a little pain, its about being able to fulfill my responsibilities to myself and others. Yet I still push for progress every time in the gym. Sometimes there is a very real price to pay.

Its a day to day thing.[/quote]

Good for you, that’s very inspiring! My dad had an accident like that several years ago and heard the same things. He’s now walking with two canes for balancing (working on getting down to one) after they told him he’d never walk again.

It’s wonderful to hear about someone else who refused to give up, so thank you for sharing.